Suspect In Ark. Church Death Held Without Bond

| June 17, 2010

WYNNE, AR — The man accused of beating an 80 year-old woman to death arrived in back Arkansas today to face murder charges.

Police say he drove to Seattle in the victim’s car trying to escape, but he was caught and extradited.

Handcuffed and dressed in an orange stripped suit, Rene Patrick Bourassa stepped in front of a judge to hear a long list of charges, ranging from theft to capital murder.

He's accused of beating 80 year-old Lillian Wilson to death inside Central United Methodist church in Wynne.

Maxine White went to high school with Wilson and showed up to court to see her friend's accused killer in person.

She says, “You know I've lost friends, but I have never lost a friend that met this kind of death, it's not fair.”

Police say Bourassa's car broke down a couple of miles from the church and that he broke in to have a place to sleep, unfortunately Mrs. Wilson came by to pick something up for her pastor and officers say that's when he attacked her.

White says she heard the suspect was passing through town to do piping work.

The sheriff says Bourassa stole Wilson's car and drove it to Seattle where he used to live. Along the way he was captured on convenience store surveillance video using her credit card.

White says, “Just to kill him would be too easy, he needs to suffer, it's hard to look at this in a Christian way. I know you’re supposed to forgive and maybe I will.”

A memorial stone sits in the garden next to the little white church remembering Wilson's husband who passed away a few years ago, but now flowers are there in memory of Lillian.

Bourassa's being held without bond at the Lee county jail and will appear again in court on July 12th. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

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Category: Church Security

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